Cruise of the Poll Parrot
- Publication date
CRUISE OF THE POLL PARROTIn 1922, businessman Paul Parrot sold his shoe business "Poll Parrot Shoes" to the International Shoe Company, which was already selling Red Goose and Weatherbird shoes. The shoes were designed for children and so sponsoring a children's radio show seemed like a good idea. In 1937, they launched a syndicated children's serial named "Cruise of the Poll Parrot". The show was sold in thirteen segment blocks, and three complete blocks exist today. The shows exponentially boosted shoe sales, helping International compete against the leader in children's shoes: Buster Brown.
The main character for the show was a 24 year old man from St. Louis, Missouri, named Marvin Miller. This was some of his first radio work. He was the voice for the main character, Captain Roy Dalton, the Master of the ship Poll Parrot, and also the voice of the parrot that was the pet of the Captain. Marvin Miller went on to work on hundreds of other radio shows, mostly as an announcer. He acted in a number of films, most notably in 1947 starring with Humphrey Bogart in "Dead Reckoning". Miller played a crooked gambler's sadistic henchman named Krause. He became most famous as Michael Anthony, the man who handed out the million dollar checks in the 1950s TV series, "The Millionaire". Miller died in Los Angeles of a heart attack in 1984 at the age of 71.
The Cruise of the Poll Parrot takes place in 1858 in New Bedford, Massachusetts, center of the United States whaling industry. Besides Captain Roy Dalton, the cast included Ezra Grange, owner of the Poll Parrot, Ezra's little sister Sue, and her friend Johnny Robbins. Other characters on the show were first mate George Wainwright, a one legged sailor named Old Dickson, a muteness crew member named Red Mahooley, ship keeper Breckenridge, and El Testi who was an agent for another shipping company.
OTRR Release Information:
Series Name: Cruise of the Poll Parrot
Release Status: OTRR Certified Complete
Release Date: March 15, 2006
Release Version: Version 1
Number of CDs: 1
From the Old Time Radio Researchers Group. See "Notes" below for more information on the OTRR.
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It contains the most complete and accurate version of this series in the best sound possible at the time of creation. An updated version will be issued if more episodes or better sounding ones become available.
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Relax, listen, and enjoy!
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- 2006-07-10 14:04:01
Subject: The "Pirate" accent may have originated here instead of 1950s Treasure Island
In truth, this 1937 serial has many of the pirate cliches and sounds perfectly at home with our current notions of seagoing drama.
It's a shame that only three 13-show blocks remain of this show. But what we do have is a joy to experience. If you're a pirate fan (this review has been written on International Speak Like A Pirate Day), you will enjoy the show.
Exceptionally high quality. The noticeable lack of music in the show (no organ music, the ship's bell and a few times where the cast sings acapella) may help make the show more believable to modern ears, for which the constant Hammond Organ punches and themes would sound dated and melodramatic.
Well worth the download.
Subject: Cruise of the Poll Parrot
The fact mentioned that this helped to boost sales of shoes is interesting.
Marketing ploy of today has not changed too much. You merely mention a brand on a program that has appeal to children and teenagers then all of a sudden the request to the parents is that the product "must be" that brand.
The program itself is entertaining, even to me and my age is knocking on 3 score.
Marvin Miller was in high demand, he was the announcer for the Whistler series, some 500 episodes, and his total in radio topped the 900 mark, both as announcer and actor.
This is light listening and you could probably finish it in 2 or 3 sittings.
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